Boom, Bust, or Meh: November 2018

Welcome to the BBoM of November, ladies and gentlemen, where we focus on five films of the month and the predictions we have for them!  As with every BBoM article, each film receives one of the following scores:

Boom: A film you’ll remember for the rest of the year.

Bust: A film you’ll regret watching.

Meh: A film that you’ll…kind of debate about for the rest of the months.

First of all, I’d like to acknowledge and thank Trey for covering these BBoM articles whilst I was away in Canada. I had a fantastic time, and I trust you, my dear GUG readers, had a wonderful time as well checking out these films. With that introduction, let’s crank open the month of November vault!

The Results

Before we get to our film predictions, let us take a look at the outcome of our October predictions!

1. Venom – Meh

Rotten Tomatoes

Critic Score: 29%

Audience Score: 87%

Box Office

Production Budget: $100 million

Worldwide: $510+ million

Juliana: Wow, it seems that audiences and critics couldn’t disagree more about the quality of this film. Split the difference and it’s something average. Meh.

Our Review

2. A Star is Born – BOOM!

Rotten Tomatoes

Critic Score: 90%

Audience Score: 84%

Box Office

Production Budget: $36 million

Worldwide: $259 million

Juliana: This tale may have been told before, but this is one remake that seems to have been worthwhile. Watch out–it may be an Oscar darling.

3. First Man – Meh

Rotten Tomatoes

Critic Score: 88%

Audience Score: 64%

Box Office

Budget: $59 million

Worldwide: $76 million

Juliana: I’m shocked this didn’t perform better considering the film’s pedigree. But I’m guessing stoic characters make for uninteresting protagonists, which might be one reason why this film wasn’t a hit amongst the general public.

4. Johnny English Strikes Again – Meh

Rotten Tomatoes

Critic Score: 33%

Audience Score: 65%

Box Office

Budget: $25 million

Worldwide: $110 million

Juliana: This is a film that perfectly demonstrates that humor is subjective. Some hated it, some laughed the whole way through.

5. Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween – Bust

Rotten Tomatoes

Critic Score: 47%

Audience Score: 52%

Box Office

Budget: $35 million

Worldwide: $64 million

Juliana: Is it really a surprise to discover that the sequel that no one asked for was unpopular across the board?

And now to rectify one we missed…

Duck Duck Goose was a film that was originally going to screen across the USA, so we gave out predictions. However, it was suddenly delayed. It released in cinemas overseas and later appeared on Netflix. As such, we don’t have all the stats, but we can determine whether this was a Boom, Bust or Meh and deliver the points.

6. Duck Duck Goose – Bust

Rotten Tomatoes

Audience Score: 39%

Box Office

Budget: $30 million

Worldwide: $17 million

Juliana: Just goes to show that appealing to the Chinese market doesn’t always pay off.

Our Review

Each “Boom, Bust, or Meh” article will include each writer’s current record next to their name. My record is (48-28), Tyler Hummel is at (27-21), Sarah Bennett is at (33-32), and Trey’s score is (82-39).

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

Rating: PG

Release Date: November 2, 2018

Synopsis: A young girl is transported into a magical world of gingerbread soldiers and an army of mice (IMDB).

Directors: Lasse Hallström & Joe Johnston

Starring: Mackenzie Foy, Keira Knightley, Morgan Freeman

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (48-28): Meh – I’m excited about this film, mainly because I’m unfamiliar with the story and I’ve always wanted to hear it. Yet while I believe there are others like me that have waited a long time for this narrative to be brought to the big screen, I don’t believe this film will be a success. Firstly, it’s up against some tough competition. It may be lost in the mix of big budget CGI films (Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald and Ralph Breaks the Internet in particular). Secondly, while it’s a classic tale, it’s not part of an established franchise, and cinema patrons will opt instead for something more familiar. Lastly, fantasy films have an unfortunate reputation for tanking at the box office. It could easily be a bust, but it’s depressing to be cynical all the time, so it’s a “meh” from me.

Tyler Hummel (27-21): Bust – I’m not really looking forward to this… live action nutcracker sounds a bit silly on paper.

Bohemian Rhapsody

Rating: PG-13

Release Date: November 2, 2018

Synopsis: A chronicle of the years leading up to Queen’s legendary appearance at the Live Aid (1985) concert (IMDB).

Director: Bryan Singer

Starring: Rami Malek, Lucy Boynton, Gwilym Lee

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (48-28): Meh – A lot of people are excited about this film. It has a more universal appeal compared to Straight Outta Compton because, well, who doesn’t like Bohemian Rhapsody? Queen’s songs are known the world over, across the generations. It’s also a film that’s generating a bit of Oscar buzz. However, early critical reviews haven’t been overly positive thus far. There may be a split between the critics and the public–general audiences could adore the film while critics may feel that there’s nothing really new explored here. So I’m predicting mixed reviews, though it’ll still smash the box office.

 Tyler Hummel (27-21): Meh – The music sounds cool (duh) but beyond that, I can’t tell you what I’m really excited for. The best version of this kind of film was Straight Outta Compton and since then these biopic-band movies really haven’t caught up.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelward

Rating: PG-13

Release Date: November 16, 2018

Synopsis: The second installment of the “Fantastic Beasts” series set in J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World featuring the adventures of magizoologist Newt Scamander (IMDB).

Director: David Yates

Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Jude Law, Johnny Depp

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (48-28): BOOM! – This is a franchise that understands that its fanbase has grown up. While not everyone showed enthusiasm towards the first film of this prequel series, personally I enjoyed the fact that we’ve moved away from the clichéd orphan hero’s journey. One aspect in particular that annoyed me with the Harry Potter films was that it was common to see the plot write itself into a corner, needing to literally rely on a magical solution that seemingly came out of nowhere. Thankfully as the years have passed, the writing and story structure have become more sophisticated and mature, with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them reaping the benefits of the old adage that practice makes perfect.

So I don’t doubt that the sequel will take it further. It’s also adding in popular characters like Dumbledore and Nagini, which will entice curious fans to the cinema. It’s a prequel series that will only get better the closer it gets to the more popularized timeline, much like the television show Better Call Saul. It may not be the best film in the franchise or achieve the highest performance at the box office, but it’ll be a success either way.

Tyler Hummel (27-21): Meh – I didn’t like the first one. This one tying closer to the books but directly bringing in characters like Dumbledore and Gringlewald is cool but I’m not terribly impressed with this series so far.


Rating: R

Release Date: November 16, 2018

Synopsis: Set in contemporary Chicago, amidst a time of turmoil, four women with nothing in common except a debt left behind by their dead husbands’ criminal activities, take fate into their own hands, and conspire to forge a future on their own terms (IMDB).

Director: Steve McQueen

Starring: Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki, Liam Neeson, Robert Duvall, Colin Farrell.

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (48-28): Meh – This is a high pedigree film that is certainly on critics’ radars, particularly in the lead up to the Academy Awards next year. There are many high-quality, respectable actors in the cast, and it’s directed by Best Picture-winning Steve McQueen from 12 Years a Slave fame. The thing is, it seems that I live in a bubble–I’ve seen trailers for this film everywhere due to practically living at the cinema, yet when I asked a few acquaintances earlier this week, it turned out that no one had even heard of this film. For whatever reason, it appears that the marketing campaign isn’t engaging with the general public.

Worse still, the subject matter may also mistakenly send the impression that it’s tied up with a feminist agenda, which may divide the audience share even further. Personally, I believe this will be a strong film with magnificent performances, and that the people who do end up seeing it will love it, but it’ll have trouble finding its footing at the box office.

Tyler Hummel (27-21): BOOM! – Steve McQueen hasn’t made a film since his critically acclaimed 2013 historical drama 12 Years a Slave. I’m super excited to see how he’d handle something more contemporary. It looks suspenseful and beautifully filmed.

Ralph Breaks the Internet

Rating: PG

Release Date: November 21, 2018

Synopsis: Six years after the events of “Wreck-It Ralph”, Ralph and Vanellope, now friends, discover a wi-fi router in their arcade, leading them into a new adventure (IMDB).

Directors: Phil Johnston, Rick Moore.

Starring: Gal Gadot, Kristen Bell, Mandy Moore, John C. Reilly

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (48-28): BOOM! – I didn’t fall head over heels for the first film, but it managed to resonate with many. I guess I don’t understand the appeal. When the first trailer for Ralph Breaks the Internet released, featuring a crossover with all the Disney princesses, I cringed at Disney’s blatant self-promotion and marketing, bringing back memories of The Emoji Movie. Though judging from the reactions over the Internet, many people adored that scene; it only contributed to their excitement. So, while I may not be a fan, I understand that I certainly don’t represent everyone, which is why I predict this film will be a BOOM!

Tyler Hummel (27-21): BOOM! – I’m not as excited about this as I would’ve been had this film come out sooner than six years after the original. Naturally, it’s Disney so it’ll be fun but the trailers don’t give me much of an idea where this movie is going with its premise.

Thanks for reading this month’s edition! Let us know your predictions in the comment section. Join us next month for another edition of “Boom, Bust, or Meh!”

Are you looking forward to any of these films? What are your predictions? What film are you looking forward to most in November?

Juliana Purnell

After obtaining a Bachelor of Dramatic Arts, Juliana Purnell has enjoyed a successful acting career, working within theme parks, businesses, and on film sets. She has also taken on crew roles, both in film and theatrical productions. When Juliana isn't working, she enjoys watching movies of all genres at the cinema, writing, and playing with Samson, her pomeranian.

1 Comment

  1. Zero Tolerance on February 7, 2020 at 1:14 pm

    An all-around meh month. Ralph Breaks the Internet will succeed due to lack of competition.

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